With video games, namely, Dragon Ball Z has had a rich history. Most games in the series’ early life have been RPGs together with many focusing on card-based movement and action. Those RPG elements have persisted through time, but when many fans consider Dragon Ball Z video games today, they’re more prone to think about the battling games, and for good reason.
For a series that is so ingrained in action, it simply makes sense it might come to life for a fighting game. From the Super Famicom in Japan into the Nintendo Switch in a couple of months, the Dragon Ball Z movie game scene has no intention of slowing down.
Even though a good chunk of Dragon Ball Z games have been exclusive to Japan, there are plenty great ones who have made their way to North America. Regrettably, some games from the series don’t have the same degree of polish when it has to do with localization. Like any twelve year old franchise, Dragon Ball Z has some ups and downs, and you may see that certainly in its own matches.
Dragon Ball Z: To Kinect
Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect requires everything which makes Dragon Ball Z enjoyable and butchers it for absolutely no reason. It is no surprise that the Kinect did not take off the way Microsoft needed it to, but the grade, or lack thereof, of matches offered for the movement sensor, is debatable. Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect could have been an intriguing attempt at a first-person fighting game, but it’s hardly more than an advertisement for Super Saiyan Bardock.
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Pretty much every advantage is shamelessly stolen from Ultimate Tenkaichi, but without any of the gameplay that made Ultimate Tenkaichi so memorable. The story mode is just one of the worst in the show, and gameplay is constituted of hurling around random punches and leaping around. Sure, it’s fun to fire a Kamehameha first time, but after that? It is only an exercise in tedium. Save yourself the hassle and then play with among those much better Dragon Ball Z games.
Advertised as the first game to feature Broly as a playable character (that is a bold faced lie, incidentally,) Taiketsu is the worst fighting game from the series and probably the worst Dragon Ball Z game period assuming you do not consider Dragon Ball Z: To Kinect a movie game.
Taikestu is a ugly, little 2D fighter for the Game Boy Advance that is more Tekken compared to Dragon Ball Z. Now, a conventional DBZ fighter might have been phenomenal, but Webfoot Technologies clearly didn’t care about producing a fantastic game, they only wished to milk that sweet Dragon Ball absolute. Battles are lethargic, the story mode is downright abysmal, the images are dreadful, and the battle is not responsive whatsoever.
Webfoot Technologies created Legacy of Goku II and Buu’s Fury, so it’s not like they have been unfamiliar with the show, and they had a decent history. As it stands, Taiketsu is a downright shameful stain on the show’ video game legacy.
Speaking of spots, let us discuss Dragonball Evolution. Based off one of the worst adaptations from the picture medium, Dragonball Evolution strips off all the allure, nuance, and passion which makes Dragon Ball such an enjoyable series and repackages it into a disgraceful attempt by exploiting the franchise for profit. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d seen or read Dragon Ball and thought,”You know what could make this easier? If Goku went to high school and was moody all of the time.”
Sure, the Dragon Ball has a great deal of product, and you wouldn’t be wrong with saying the collection has probably sold out, but the innumerable spin-offs try to offer something in the way of quality or fanservice to make up for that. Evolution, but doesn’t care at all and is content in being a fair fighting game which hardly knows the series it is based on.
Dragon Ball GT was such an awful show that Toei waited ten years to try and milk Dragon Ball again, so it is no surprise that a fighting game based off of GT pretty much killed the Dragon Ball video game scene for half a decade.
Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout has been the last entry in the first Butoden sub-series and has been the very first one to be published in the United States. The previous entries in the series are excellent games but Final Bout, possibly because of its source material, failed to live up to all expectations. Bordering on the dreadful, Final Bout was the first fighting game in the series to be released in North America. That implies, for many individuals, Final Bout has been their introduction into the collection.
Probably the strangest thing about the game is it hardly offers any GT characters at all meaning its flaws could have quite easily been avoided. It still probably would have been a dreadful mess, however.
What happens when you blended beautiful sprite work, awkward CG wallpapers, and ferociously long loading times?
To get a fighting game to be successful, it needs to be quick, also UB22 is anything . Getting in and outside of games should be instantaneous, however they take ferociously long. Sure, playing as your favorite Dragon Ball characters is entertaining, but you know what else is fun? Really getting to play a video game.
There are a number of neat ideas gift –like a flat up system for every personality — but the true gameplay boundaries on the boring. The elderly Butoden matches were great because the small roster meant more focused move collections, but Ultimate Battle 22 does not really give you the identical feeling. Goku vs Vegeta simply feels like two handsome guys slowly punching each other in the atmosphere.
Infinite World is now Budokai 3 if the latter never bothered looking for a fun video game that also played like an episode of Dragon Ball Z. Truly, everything Infinite World does Budokai 3 did much better years before. Infinite World goes so far as to remove characters from B3 even though the former uses the latter’s motor. In a situation like this, where a pre-established game is shamelessly being rereleased, there’s no reason to eliminate content, let alone playable characters.
Maybe most offensively, Budokai 3 RPG styled, character driven story mode was completely neutered and replaced with a shallow mess which has significantly more minigames than it will engaging battle. Really, it is the shortage of the story mode that strikes Infinite World the most. Dragon Universe is hands down one of the greatest ideas a Dragon Ball Z has had and losing it hurts Infinite World over anything. If you are going to tear off a better match, at least slip the facets which made it a better match to start with.
Budokai 2’s cel shading is downright gorgeous, the battle is fluid and nice, and it increases the roster by a decent degree, but it also has own of the worst narrative modes to grace Dragon Ball Z. Mixing the worst parts of Mario Party with the most peculiar qualities of an anime or manga adaptation, Budokai 2 follows up the original Budokai’s wonderful story mode with a board game monstrosity which butchers its origin material for little purpose other than to shoehorn Goku into each major battle.
In regards to fighting mechanics, Dragon Ball Z tends not to shine so the stories need to perform the heavy lifting. If the story can not maintain, the game naturally loses something. Budokai put such a powerful precedent, properly adapting the anime having full cutscenes up to the Cell Games, but Budokai 2 ends up stressing the storyline in favour of Mario Party shenanigans and a story that gets pretty much every significant detail incorrect. Additionally, no cutscenes.
Raging Blast is basically what you receive if you strip Budokai Tenkaichi to its foundation parts and release it before putting back the roster and customization. It is still a fantastic match, mind you, but it’s missing a lot of what created Budokai Tenkaichi a fun series.
Perhaps the best items Raging Blast brings to the table is completely destructible environments, combat damage, and even mid-battle facial expressions. It actually feels like an episode of Dragon Ball Z at times, with characters and the surroundings noticeably decaying with time. It is really a shame Raging Blast did not go further with its assumption since only a little character customization could have gone a long way to provide help.
The story mode follows Budokai Tenkaichi’s lead, but it’s even more disorganized and sloppy. If it’s your only solution for a Dragon Ball Z fighting game, it’ll get the job done, but it won’t be the best that you can do.